Area hospitals, private physicians and STD testing centers are working together with the Center for Disease Control and local health departments. Each time a person receives STD testing, the results are recorded and forwarded to the appropriate departments for inclusion in a nationwide database. No personal information is shared that could breach confidentiality. Data including sex, age, race, income bracket, area of residence and testing results is the only information that is shared. This is used in tracking trends in infection rates to identify who is the most at risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases. This in turn helps in designing effective educational campaigns for getting the word out about STDs and why testing is important. The following statistics show the percentages of persons infected with specific types of STDs per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia -301.2
- Gonorrhea- 58.2
- Syphilis- 6.5
These numbers only represent populations that have followed through with the process of STD testing. It is believed that if everyone who is at risk for sexually transmitted disease infection would get tested, the numbers would actually be much higher.
The problem of STD infection in this region is so severe that health department officials have worked with legislators to develop a strategy for reaching young people just prior to the age at which some of them will begin sexual experimentation. Mandatory sexual health education courses are provided in the public schools. Students learn about the risks of unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy and the risk of getting an STD. They also learn about the signs and symptoms of specific diseases and how to prevent contracting them. Upon completion, students will know where to go in the area for a Herpes test or for HIV testing among other types.
The area has many pockets of residents who are at or below established poverty levels. This contributes to the issue of rising STD rates because those who have fewer financial resources are at the greatest risk of not being able to afford testing and or treatment. In addition, there is often a lack of information about their risk and they may not realize the scope of the problem. Some types of STD infections may present few or no symptoms at the initial onset. This often leads to one person spreading it to another with a domino effect in society.
Although there are free STD testing centers available for those who qualify according to the income guidelines, many still do not know that this resource exists. Another obstacle is the issue of funding. Most often, free or reduced cost services are available on a first come, first served basis. When funding runs out for the fiscal year or cycle, there are potential clients in need of testing who will have to wait until the fnds are replenished. During the waiting period, they may pass the STD on to others or experience significant health problems as a result of waiting for testing and or treatment.
Some people may be embarrassed to visit a clinic for STD testing because they are afraid of who may see them there. Every effort is made to ensure that each client is treated with respect and that they receive private and confidential STD testing.
Statistics show that Chlamydia is most often diagnosed in women with nearly double the rate than for men. People who are 20 to 24 years of ae have the highest numbers followed by those 15 to 19, then 25 to 29 with the third highest rates. It is highest in Blacks followed by Whites, then Hispanics.
Gonorrhea is slightly higher in men than in women and recent trends show that the numbers are highest among males in the 20 to 24 group, followed by those 25 to 29, then 15 to 19. Blacks lead the numbers with Whites second and Hispanic populations have the third highest rates. Syphilis is higher in men in the age 20 to 24 group followed by 25 to 29, 45 to 54 and the fourth highest rates are seen in the 30 to 34 age group.
Anyone who has had unprotected sex with a partner whose monogamy cannot be confirmed is technically at risk for STD infection. If there are any unusual symptoms present, the need for testing becomes more urgent than ever. STDs can cause infertility or difficulties in conceiving a baby, in carrying it successfully to full term and in delivery of a healthy child. They may also cause other health problems with greater severity. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take measures to protect your sexual health. Private and confidential STD testing is easy to order and it only takes a few moments of your time to visit a local testing lab. Friendly and professional staff area available to help you complete the process so your results will be on their way. They can answer any questions that you might have and help you to gain greater peace of mind.